Thoughts on Engaging Users in Social Tagging Systems

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Table of Contents

Enable subscription to tags and users

Meaning, you can subscribe to a tag or to an user, so as to be notified of relevant activity for that tag or user.

Pros Cons
Encourages users to tag, because a) the more they
tag, the more likely it is for other users to
notice them and
b) they will want to tag their resources so as to
show up in other people's tag feeds
Possible bad incentives: People
may add a ton of unrelated tags (possibly
in automated fashion) to their content so that they
show up on other people's feeds
Fosters tag quality/vocabulary convergence
because users will want to select
good tags (i.e. tags a lot of people use),
which are more likely to be stable tags

Note: Systems need some sort of tag cleaning and quality ranking to keep feeds relevant and avoid gaming.

Provide reputation Mechanisms

Adding reputation mechanisms (i.e. karma points, etc) is one way to pay users for contributing to the platform.

Stackoverflow provides some good examples:

  • Tag medals

  • Other incentives for desirable behaviour such as new powers that get unlocked as you have more reputation.

Incentivize people to become curators

In other words, incentivize people to put effort into tagging content with good tags.

Information is essentially free, but curated, filtered information is very valuable.

Two points above are ways to do this:

  • Enable Tag Subscription

  • User Reputation

Reward firstcomers

In other words, reward people who first add a given resource to the system.

Pros Cons
Creates incentives for people to add resources
to the website quickly (before others).
May overwhelm the system as people will
devise ways of automatically uploading all
sorts of content to the web site
in the hope they get featured.

Dialogue & Discussion